Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Time, time, time…

As I noted over on my twitter feed, I was working on a Ken Hite-style article inspired by a few interesting things I'd run across here and there.  Halfway through, however, I found out that Ken had already written it! Since the article was all about stolen history, I think it's pretty clear that Mr. Hite was performing some kind of temporal presearch here.

So, you're not going to get a column on how centuries have been stolen from the history of mankind (if you can lay your hands on the first volume of Suppressed Transmission, you can read Ken's, which is far better than mine would have been anyway).  And I'm not going to go into whatever arcane secrets Mr. Hite plumbed in order to get a look at my notes twelve yeas ago, because he's probably predicted that, too.  Instead, we're going to fool with time going the other way, with a spell I call:

Reveal Palimpsest (Alteration)
Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous
Area of Effect: One page of any size, up to 2 ft square
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 turn
Saving Throw: None
Explanation/Description: A palimpsest is a vellum scroll or page that has been scraped to erase it and then reused.  This spell uses the impressions of the writing that remain, causing the ink to flow into its former patterns, revealing what had been erased from the page.  The current writing is erased on casting of the spell and cannot be retrieved.  If a sheet has been reused multiple times, the first casting of this spell will reveal the most recently erased writing, with subsequent castings continuing backwards through the history of the page.
In modern or futuristic games, a variant of this spell can be used to retrieve data erased from hard drives and similar storage media.

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